Whatever Happened To Virtual Reality?

from the the-trough-of-disillusionment dept

I remember fifteen years ago (or perhaps even more) trying out some sort of virtual reality game in an arcade. It cost $5 for just a few minutes, and they put this huge, incredibly heavy, headmounted display on you and you were supposed to walk around some platform and shoot people. It wasn’t very exciting. However, at the time, everyone was talking about how virtual reality was the “next big thing”. Like so many “next big things”, virtual reality has become a small thing that was overhyped in the past. Some people still believe in it, but mostly in niche areas. I think a lot of the problems came from the fact that most VR products that were talked about were cool, but not necessarily useful for anything. While there are some VR apps making headway for industrial applications (especially in the aerospace world) it seems the VR revolution has faded.

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Comments on “Whatever Happened To Virtual Reality?”

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LittleW0lf says:

VR in the Real World

Virtual Reality was overhyped…but it certainly didn’t go away. It just got far more practical, as with every other technology overhyped in its infancy. People thought it was cool, and some people made some money…then the practicality of the tool appeared as the hype mongers moved on and the coolness moved on to “hackers”. Now virtual reality has become far more common-place as people began to implement it into real applications.

Medicine has definately taken Virtual Reality to a new plane of existance, as remote medicine is becoming common-place. Doctors no longer need to travel great distances to diagnose non-life threatening problems in folks which don’t have access to a doctor. I had an appendix removed, and instead of cutting me open like they used to do, they used a laser and a couple cameras to remove it…leaving little left in scars…while not virtual reality, I don’t see how this procedure would be any less possible using virtual reality, where a robot performs the technique and the doctor sits in their office performing the routine remotely.

Even basic VR has become available to us, through VRML and other virtual reality systems. While limited in its capabilities, VRML has been able to allow me to see ahead of time what modifications to my house would look like on a 3 dimensional plane before I had any work done.

Anonymous Coward says:

VR is fake

Life is real

The actual day to day applications of “VR” are extremely limited.

What the industry needed to succeed was a day to day application that was actually useful for the average person (not game players and doctors).

If the industry had metamorphized into “augmented reality” and some decent, low cost consumer applications/perpherials had arrived on the scene, then we would all probably be talking to our wearable computers, looking at life through full electro-magnetic spectrum capable lenzes and listening to conversations happening 100 yards away.

But the industry didn’t manage to change and become something useful (and crap products that made the average consumer motion sick after 15 minutes of use were foisted upon the general public)… so, the industry niche died a harsh young death just as it should have.

me says:

Re: VR is fake

hold on just a sec. Look at the games industry, its worth billions, and every console made in the last 7 years is absolutely capable of running vr capable games. after all its only a second view point in space which gives the illusion, so two player games are essentially running the same calculations as single player stereo-vision games. if the games in dustry had pushed or in the future pushes vr technology, it will absoluty win, bigtime.

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